The holidays are the perfect time of year to join friends and family in enjoying holiday themed music, books, and, of course, film. It explains why TBS can get away with a twenty-four hour marathon of A Christmas Story or Home Alone. Christmas puts people in a good mood, and they want that reflected in … Continue reading Movie Review: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Boys and girls of every age, would you like to see something strange? Come with us and you will see--this, our town of Halloween... There’s something deliciously exotic about Halloween, given that it’s not really celebrated in Australia. I think my cul-de-sac is one of the few exceptions where parents actually bother taking their children … Continue reading Movie Review: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Surprised to find this 1989 Rob Reiner/Nora Ephron classic on the holiday movie lists? Well, why not? When Harry Met Sally is snappily written, gracefully directed, and lusciously filmed, with a rich dollop of holiday atmosphere--on the side, to quote Sally Albright. Two Christmas and New Year’s seasons, a year apart, bookend the last hour … Continue reading Movie Review: When Harry Met Sally (or, “Yes, Baby Fish Mouth, This Is a Holiday Film”)
The 1942 film Casablanca is beloved by millions. With its achingly romantic setting in 1940s Morocco, the nostalgic, smoke-filled den of Rick’s Cafè Amèricain, and the tragic love story between Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), the film’s lasting legacy gives weight to the idea that "yes, they really don’t make them … Continue reading Movie Review: Casablanca
Violence against children is a taboo rarely violated by mainstream cinema. Kids are often perceived as innocents in conflicts often waged by adults, but most movies avoid placing children in any active danger. Besides, is there ever a good reason for actors to simulate child abuse? But films aren’t only meant to provide entertainment; they … Continue reading Movie Review: Graceland
Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In (2011) begins as an effective thriller, akin to David Cronenberg’s own entries into the body-horror genre of the 1980s. We are introduced to an odd Spanish family: Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), a brilliant doctor who has been working on artificial skin, and is driven by the tragic death … Continue reading Movie Review: The Skin I Live In
As I left my screening of the new Paul Greengrass (Bourne Ultimatum, The Green Zone) film, Captain Phillips starring the ever-likable Tom Hanks, I didn’t really know what to make of it. Phillips is a dramatization of the Maersk Alabama hijacking in 2009. It focuses on the titled character’s capture by Somali pirates and eventual rescue by the U.S. Navy. But as the film cut to black and the credits began to roll, I was left more cold than relieved by its ending. There is no doubt in my mind that I saw a well-crafted thriller; and yet I felt emotionally detached throughout the majority of the film, partly because Phillips relies too much on Hank’s star-power to fill in for any sort of development for Captain Rich Phillips.
Gravity, Director Alfonso Cuaron’s follow-up to his 2006 sci-fi masterpiece Children of Men, at times feels more like an amusement park ride than movie; often sending audiences careening and tumbling through deep space, the film allows only small moments of rest before starting all over again. Those expecting a more thorough exploration of space travel … Continue reading Movie Review: Gravity